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MMCDC and WEII awarded $1.15 million

Midwest Minnesota Community Development Corporation (MMCDC) has received a $600,000 federal grant award to support community economic development in South Dakota.

"Our award will support smaller organizations that foster affordable housing, small business sustainability and quality facilities for health care, education and more," MMCDC President Julia Nelmark said.

The White Earth Investment Initiative (WEII), an MMCDC subsidiary, received $550,000.

"Our Vice President of Lending, Audra Tonihka, will help meet demand for financing capital from Native-owned businesses in Hennepin, Dakota and adjacent counties in Minnesota," said Kevin Shipley, CEO of White Earth Investment Initiative.

MMCDC and WEII were among 302 Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) receiving awards. Funds will be available for up to three years.

"The FY 2018 CDFI Program and NACA awardees will provide vital financial services and lending to low-income communities nationwide," said CDFI Fund Director Annie Donovan in a press release. "The awards will also benefit native communities, areas of persistent poverty, and individuals with disabilities."

Previous awards have helped people with limited incomes achieve homeownership, often in partnership with small lenders across the state.

MMCDC's overall vision is to help businesses and communities succeed by providing innovative financing and development of affordable homes and apartments. Headquartered in Detroit Lakes, Minn., it is a nonprofit company lending and investing statewide and beyond, with a special focus on rural and underserved areas.

The White Earth Investment Initiative focuses on Native American communities in Minnesota and leads the company in community-based financial education and consumer lending.

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